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SCOTTISH BLIND GOLF SOCIETY

The driving force behind blind golfers in Scotland since 1982.

Patrons: Sir Sean Connery, Andrew Coltart, Paul Lawrie, Sandy Lyle MBE, Alan Rough.


Code of Conduct

The following document contains the official Rules and Code of Conduct for the Scottish Blind Golf Society, hereafter referred to as the Society. The contents of this document are to be used in conjunction with, but not to prevail over, the Society's Constitution. All Society Members and all persons associated with the Society are governed by the terms and conditions of this Code of Conduct.

This document was modified and adopted by the Membership at the 2015 Annual General Meeting on February 26, 2016 at the RNIB Scotland offices in Edinburgh.


1: DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

1.A The Captain - who will have been elected and entrusted by the Society Members to this prestigeous position must be aware of his/her responsibility in representing the Society with dignity and understanding, maintaining a position of high esteem and confidence with its Members and Associates.

The Captain shall act as Chairperson of the Society's Executive Committee at all meetings, representing the views and deliberations of the Executive Committee and the Society. In general matters of the membership, the Captain shall attend as spokesperson at all functions and meetings with Governmental agencies and events from national and international bodies, and all meetings to further support the objectives of the Society. The Captain may attend as observer, all Sub-committee meetings held within the Executive Committee's remit.

In tandem with the Vice Captain, the Captain shall select the members to form the representative golf teams for the Society in competition with national/international competitions and manage the organisational requirements necessary to ensure the satisfactory conduct of such competitions.

1.B The Vice Captain - shall deputise for the Captain in all aspects of his/her responsibilities.
1.C The Secretary - shall convene all meetings of the Society on behalf of the Captain, and maintain accurate minutes of all procedures and decisions, deal with all correspondence, maintain accurate records of membership, sight classifications, contact details, and to distribute news and information, including match results and minutes of meetings, to all members as required. The Secretary, or such person appointed by the Executive Committee, shall be responsible for the administration and maintenance of the Society's website at www.scottishblindgolf.com
1.D The Treasurer - shall administer all financial matters of the Society as detailed in the Constitution and Code of Conduct and report to the Executive Committee as required.
1.E The Match Secretary - shall organise the Society's golf calendar for the season and will be assisted in this regard by a Sub-committee drawn by the Match Secretary from each district in order to provide local knowledge of opportunities within each district to ensure compilation of an organised schedule of golf events throughout the season, and to stage annual events throughout Scotland. The Match Secretary shall liaise closely with the Handicap Secretary in order to provide a fair standard of competition within the Rules of Golf as prescribed for blind and partially sighted golfers. With the inclusion of any appointed official referee, the Match Secretary and his sub-committee shall be the sole arbiters at all tournaments.
1.F The Handicap Secretary - shall maintain a register of results of all competitions played by Society members at home and abroad, whose details will provide the basis of handicap calculations from accepted systems prescribed with the handicap rules that may change from time to time. At monthly intervals during the playing season, or as may be deemed appropriate, the Handicap Secretary shall produce a tabulated list of members' handicaps to be sent out to the membership, together with a league table of points awarded for merit considerations.
1.G The General member[s] - shall bring to the attention of the Executive Committee any points for discussion from their District and to convey to their District members the progress of Executive Committee discussions in general.   Through a General Member, District match arrangements should be promulgated in conjunction with the Match Secretary and any Sub-committee thus formed. General Members may appoint a deputy to attend Executive Meetings on their behalf.
1.H The Executive Committee shall have the powers to invoke disciplinary and appeals procedures, as laid down in the Society's Constitution and Code of Conduct.

2: NATIONAL SOCIETY & DISTRICT MEMBERSHIP

2.A All those who wish to join the Society, must first be a fully paid member of a district, who in turn should forward the national fee to the Society Treasurer. Districts accept all who apply, providing they meet the criteria, as set out in the Society Constitution and this Code of Conduct. Individuals should make enquiries regarding membership to the nearest district group in their area, however, application can be made to other districts, providing that district's terms and conditions allow.
2.B Membership to both national and district levels are bound by the terms and conditions, and any disciplinary and appeals procedures, related to the Society Constitution and this Code of Conduct.
2.C Applications for membership may be refused, or disciplinary procedures may be invoked against any existing member who supports, affiliates or co operates with any individual, social or sporting group who operate in a manner which is deemed by the Executive Committee, to be harmful to the image or reputation of the Society, it's stability or future development.
2.D The national membership fees for the Society will be set at the Annual General Meeting.
2.E Each district representative must submit a full list of local members, their contact details and membership fees to the Society Treasurer, within 30 days of the Annual General Meeting, or such other date specified by the Executive Committee.
2.F Any member failing to renew their membership by the 30 day period, or specified date may be deemed as lapsed, and may be required to re establish a playing handicap. Other criteria in Section 2.G below may be requested by the Executive Committee before a membership is restored.
2.G New members must supply to the Society Secretary, a completed application form, a copy of their blind or partially sighted registration form, from their Social Work Department or Society for the Blind, and a completed British Blind Sport Sight Classification Form. Additionally, new members holding a current CONGU handicap of 27 or under will be eligible to play competitively in SBGS competitions using their CONGU handicap. After a four card submission from SBGS competitions an IBGA handicap will be calculated. All other new members will be invited to play as guests at SBGS competitions until four cards have been submitted, when a playing IBGA handicap will be determined.
2.H New members must reach and maintain a standard of golf, which is acceptable to the Society, before they attend major competitions, so as not to upset the flow of play at competitions, nor leave a poor impression of the Society and its members.

3: MANDATORY PROCEDURES ON PERSONAL FUNDING/SPONSORSHIP

SPECIAL NOTE: Royal & Ancient rules relating to Amateur Status and Society members.

Members are encouraged to read the information leaflet on amateur status which has been sent to you from the Society Secretary. Further information is also available online from the website of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, at www.randa.org

3.A A Register of Interest shall be set up and maintained by an Administrator appointed by the Executive Committee where information held will be freely available to all members of the Society.
3.B All members who intend making application for grants, awards, sponsorships or donations must first contact the Society administrator with details of the funding source or potential targets. The Executive Committee reserves the right to refuse permission to a member in applying for personal funding, in such cases as would be deemed unfair to the Society in it's charitable fundraising objectives as a whole.
3.C The official SBGS Sponsorship Confirmation Form must be included by the applying member, with any approach or correspondence with funding sources and targets.
3.D Funding sources must be requested to make monies payable to the Scottish Blind Golf Society.
3.E Prior to the release of personal funds to the applicant, the Society Administrator must receive, [1] - the completed official SBGS Sponsorship Confirmation Form in favour of the applicant, and [2] - the expense receipts approved by the personal funding Sub Committee in compliance with the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews' Rules on Amateur Status.
3.F Members shall be required to pay the Society a membership fee supplement of 2% of all personal funding monies they receive, which have been administered on their behalf by the Society.

4: FINANCE, ACCOUNTS, BANK CONTROL & PROPERTY

4.A As agreed at the AGM on March 25, 2006, The following bank accounts shall be held by the Society.
  1. Main account is now known as Administration account
  2. Championship account is now known as Events account
  3. A Sub Account to the Events account may be required for personal funding transactions
4.B The Finance Code of Practice. Information on annual returns and how the accounts of the Society should be administered can be obtained from the OSCR, the Office of the Scottish charity Regulator, by telephone on 01382 220 446, or by visiting their website at www.oscr.org.uk and viewing the FAQ.
  1. Society Accounts will be forwarded to all voting Members with the notice of the Annual General Meeting.
  2. A financial statement shall be produced for approval prior to all regular meetings. Annual income detail may be sent to voting members on request.
  3. The Executive Committee shall operate a strictly enforced policy not to sign blank cheques.
  4. Prior to signing cheques, the Executive Committee cheque signatories must insist on examining and approving supporting evidence.
  5. The expenses of one person require to be sanctioned and signed by an Executive Committee member.
4.C

Investment Funds - When surplus funds become available, the Executive Committee shall consider contributing to and maintaining any investment fund of the Society. Any monies from these funds can only be utilised in an unusual situation and must be applied to a Society project or competition. Access to these funds can only be on agreement by the Executive Committee or at Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting.

4.D Property of the Scottish blind Golf society:
  1. The Society computer system, it's hardware, software and all accessories purchased by the Society, all data contained on its hard drive and other storage units and disks, all variations and editions of Society headed paper, compliment slips, stationary, invoices, credit notes, donated prizes and gifts are the property of the Society and may not be used by any District or single member without the permission of the Executive Committee.
  2. Any Royal Mail black sticker freepost labels distributed to members within the society must only be used for Society business, and envelopes must be marked "Articles for the blind- Scottish Blind Golf". Correspondence using these labels must only be to convey information or papers between registered blind persons.

5: DISCIPLINARY MEASURES & APPEALS PROCEDURES

5.A In accordance with the Constitution and this Code of Conduct, the Executive Committee has the powers to invoke the following disciplinary measures on Society Members and Associates.
  1. Conditional suspension - Anyone placed under conditional suspension may apply for, or attend Society events, subject only to permission and any conditions laid down by the Executive Committee, but will not be eligible to receive awards, merit points or prizes. If permission is granted to play golf, a returned scorecard may be accepted for handicap adjustment purposes only. Conditional suspensions may be invoked for a maximum of 5, [five] events.
  2. Full suspension - Anyone placed under full suspension shall not be permitted to attend any match, meeting or exhibition related to the Society. A full suspension can be invoked for up to a maximum of one calendar year
  3. Termination - The termination of any member shall be for life
5.B Individuals have the right to a hearing by a disciplinary committee Before any action is imposed. The disciplinary committee will be constituted of at least five members of the Society's Committee and chaired by the Captain or Vice Captain. Temporary suspension may be placed on a member in cases of alleged serious misconduct prior to such a hearing. If the Executive Committee, by a simple majority vote, decides to suspend or terminate a member, they must inform that member in writing within seven, [7] days of that decision. Any appeal by a member, to the Executive Committee regarding that decision, must be received in writing within twenty one [21] days of the Executive Committee decision and the appeal must be heard thereafter, by an appeals committee within fourteen [14] days of the appeal being lodged.
5.C The Appeals Committee shall consist of the five District Captains or their representatives, not involved in the initial hearing and be chaired by the Captain of the Society. In the event of a tie, the Chairman shall have a casting vote. The decision of the Appeals Committee shall be final.

6: ALL THINGS GOLF - PRACTICES FOR BLIND GOLF COMPETITIONS

Much appreciation is extended to the guides for their vital role in golf for the blind, but we ask them to accept responsibility for observing speed of play, position on the course and being able to react promptly to the following points in maintaining a good profile and image of the Society.

6.A Slow Play: Slow play is not acceptable at any time. To avoid this occurring the following must be observed at all times.
  1. When playing a par-3 hole, if there are players waiting on the tee behind when you approach the green, the group on, or approaching the green, must mark their balls and invite the following group to tee off. Once the group behind have played their tee shots, your group may return to the green and putt out
  2. In the event of a lost ball, any waiting group must be waved through
  3. If one clear hole has opened up in front of your game, you MUST invite the following group through
  4. On completion of a hole, your group should immediately proceed to the next teeing ground and mark score cards prior to teeing off
  5. Where possible and practical, buggies and trolleys should be left at the side of the green close to the route to the next teeing ground
  6. For all SBGS competitions, a player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only. If, during a stipulated round, a player uses a distance-measuring device that is designed to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect his play (e.g. gradient, windspeed, temperature, etc.), the player is in breach of Rule 14-3, for which the penalty is disqualification, regardless of whether any such additional function is actually used.
6.B Scorecards:
  1. It is the responsibility of the Society member for all scores entered on their scorecards. Your own and your playing partner/opponent[s] scores must be checked, both as you play, and at the conclusion of each hole. Cards must be checked and verified by both yourself and your playing partner/opponent[s], before signing and submitting cards
  2. Incomplete or unsigned cards are subject to disqualification
6.C Complaints or score disagreements:
  1. Golfers can break the rules, whether by accident or otherwise. To avoid such incidents, if you think there has been an infringement of the rules, or a wrongly declared score, you must mention it immediately. If the matter is unresolved, players should either, discuss the problem, by moving to the side and letting the following group through, call a referee or official to clarify the matter or, make a note on their score card of the disagreement, which will be resolved later by an official. Under the Rules of Golf, a second ball may be played and both scores recorded.
  2. Guides, caddies, markers and spotters are all encouraged to bring any instances of concern to the attention of the Society playing members
6.D Dress Code: - The Society operates a policy obliging all members and their guides, to be dressed in a smart, casual manner at all times. T-shirts, football shirts, jeans or trainers, are not acceptable at any time. Members and guides will be informed in advance, if formal dress is required at any event.

7: GENERAL Society RULES & PRACTICES

7.A Competition organisation:
  1. It is the responsibility of Society organisers to ensure that all members are in possession of a season's calendar of competition events. Details of each event will be distributed to all members well in advance of the competition date and will include the playing format, entry fee covering costs, buggy availability, transport advice, closing date for entry acceptance and any host clubhouse requirements involving dress code.

    Following the closing date, a further communication will be forwarded to all members who have paid for attendance, detailing tee times and game pairings, with any additional information.
  2. Districts in which competitions are played will be responsible for the expenses incurred in the cost of the prize presentations
  3. District organisers will ensure all scorecards are returned to the Handicap Secretary immediately after the competitions conclusion
  4. The Society Match Secretary will maintain a season long record of pairings in the interest of fairness and avoidance of duplication. District organisers will liaise with the Society Match Secretary when establishing times and golf pairings.
  5. For the planning and administration of International Blind Golf Association, [IBGA] sanctioned events please refer to their guidelines.
7.B The Society Order of Merit table, points and counting competitions:
  1. All members who attend and compete in recognised domestic qualifying competitions will be awarded points for performance in an Order of Merit table which will be recorded and aggregated by the Handicap Secretary throughout the domestic golfing season.
  2. All members who attend recognised domestic qualifying Competitions are eligible to gain points on the Society Order of Merit Table.
  3. Order of Merit table points at stroke play and stableford competitions will be awarded to the top twelve players at any competition in the following order: 20 twenty, 15 fifteen, 12 twelve, 10 ten, 8 eight, 7 seven, and so on down to 1 one point. 1 one point will also be awarded to each player out with the top twelve, who submits a valid scorecard. 1 one bonus point will also be awarded to each player whose nett score is below par. The Match & Handicap Sub-committee may define other conditions for specific events.
  4. The Order of Merit table points at the Matchplay Championship will be awarded as: Champion 30 thirty, runner-up 25 twenty five, third place 20 twenty and fourth 15 fifteen points. Second round losers will be awarded 10 ten points each and first round losers will gain 5 five points A player who has been given a bye in round 1 then loses a second round match will be awarded 5, five merit points. In the event of more than 16 entries for the Matchplay Championship, qualifying rounds will be arranged and losers of such rounds shall be awarded 5, five merit points. No person should benefit from more than one bye in the competition. Where possible, pairings should be re drawn to comply.
  5. All Society and/or District event organisers must make every effort to submit fixture dates, venues and timings, in line with the schedule laid out and requested by the Society Match Secretary. Late submission of such details, may not guarantee inclusion in the Society Order of Merit Table. The Executive Committee shall determine which events and event scores shall count for the Order of Merit Table.
7.c Qualification for the Auld Enemy Cup & other international matches:

Automatic qualification for the Auld Enemy Cup team will be given to the top eight places, available and wishing to take part, from the Order of Merit Table. The Executive Committee shall then agree on the selection of the relevant number of players to complete the team.

Automatic qualification for the Celtic Cup team will be given to the top five places, available and wishing to take part, from the Order of Merit Table and led by the Vice Captain. The sixth place may be used to include the Vice Captain or, if already included, to select a team member agreed by the Executive Committee.

Where practical, every effort will be made to select 1 registered B1 golfer to play in one international match each season.

7.D Structured selection system for Society entrants to Open International events:
  1. Defending champion if it is a Society member.
  2. Determine the number of places allocated to the Society, or the number of places the Society allocates to its own members.
  3. Determine the number of golfers applying in categories, B1, B2, B3 and B4 where applicable, who meet the entry criteria.
  4. Whenever the number of applicants from SBGS membership exceeds the invited allocation from Open and International Event Organisers, conduct an open public ballot among the total applicants who meet the Hosts' requirements without regard to handicap or merit table standing, past or present.
7.E Attending foreign competitions and invitations to Society members:
  1. Invitations and information for Society members to attend major events both in the UK and overseas will be distributed by the Society Secretary to all members, or passed to District representatives where appropriate.
  2. If a personal invitation to any national or international event is received by a member, that member must inform the Executive Committee immediately on receipt of the invitation. If the invited member cannot, or does not wish to accept the invitation, the Executive Committee shall have the powers to decide if, and who, may be selected to take up the invitation provided the host is in agreement.
  3. If an open or group invitation is received for representation from the Society to attend an event, the Executive Committee shall decide on who will be awarded any places.
7.F Transport:
  1. Outwith specified group travel for international team events, Members must arrange and pay for their own and their guides transport to and from events. The Society and/or District event organisers are under no obligation to arrange transportation.
  2. The Society and/or District event organisers will make every effort to arrange competition venues, which are easily accessible by public transport and where the hire of buggies can be available.
7.G Handicap scheme:
  1. The Society will use the handicap system that has been established by the IBGA Handicap Committee.
  2. All Society members are obliged to abide by its rules, conditions and calculations.
  3. Only scorecards from recognised Society, IBGA competitions, or competitions where the IBGA handicap system is used are acceptable for any alteration to an official handicap.
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